There’s something very, very good happening on Chicago’s south side, and that good thing is called Mr. Hyde Records. To quote from their mission statement, Mr. Hyde is a record label that “focuses on making definitive compilations of the rock music being made in Hyde Park.” When I lived in Hyde Park ten years ago, it wasn’t really clear that there was much music being made in the neighborhood; it didn’t help that there was only one bar, Jimmy’s, and the local university is pretty geeky. Then again, as 3hive proves week in and week out, geeks rock. Based on Mr. Hyde’s output, like the recent Jackson Park Express compilation, the U of C scene is rich, diverse and (surprise, surprise) notably cerebral.
So, Cola Wars was our first Mr. Hyde related post, even if I didn’t really know what it meant at the time. (In true home-grown fashion, all these guys are in ten bands and running their own label.) Anyway, Health & Beauty is another band in the family; Brian J. Sulpizio even looks like my cousin’s crazy ex-boyfriend. Though his music doesn’t really reflect this craziness — you’ll find a little noise here and there, among beautiful melodies and smart, smoothly-delivered lyrics — the Health & Beauty website itself is like a psychedelic corn maze of poetry and random association. I spent at least an hour wandering around “Eraser Metropolis”, following the links and taking it all in. Over the next few weeks I’ll post a few more Mr. Hyde bands; if you like what you hear, go ahead and buy a few compilations.